Coffee Mug

All I have to do is close my eyes and I can see us gathering dust in the park. Your hand tangled in mind and the eager rouge erupting onto my cheeks as you shoot anxious glances at me. Our fingers wrapping around a mug of hot chocolate. You bring it up to your lips and sip the warm contents of the mug gingerly. You hand it to me and I pick at the marsh mellows swimming about.

That's when it occurs to me that I'm spilling scorching hot coffee all over the palm of my hand as I gaze out my kitchen window into the hazy sky of Houston humid weather. The curved porcelain handle of the coffee mug slips from my fingers as my skin recoils in protest from the liquid that has just hit my flesh. I hear it shatter as it hits the linoleum tile of my poorly constructed kitchen floor.

And just as the porcelain fragments lay crumpled across the floor, I can feel my face starting to rumble with unearthed, forgotten feelings. A tiny tear collects at the corner of my eye and soon I am sobbing hard. I fall to my knees and bits of broken porcelain jump into the air from the sudden impact of my body hitting the ground. I double over onto my hands and knees and as I sob so hard I ignore the piercing sensation that is shooting through my nerves as I subconsciously ground the glass further into my skin. I sob so hard that I feel as if I am choking on my own tears, as if I might vomit all over this stupid mess.

After a couple minutes of unexplained despair, I realize that this mug is gone. I get up and wipe my face with the back of my hand, careful not the smudge blood onto my new top. I rally some mock sense of normality and return to the pantry to get a broom and dust pan. It only takes a couple minutes to gather up the pieces of the cup and promptly dispose of them in the trashcan. But I stare at the trashcan for a lot longer than necessary … about five minutes too long.

It's gone. Not just the mug, but everything it represented. Those stolen kisses in the park, how our fingers wrapped around each others when we tugged on the cup, "One more sip … I'm not done …" Our persistent bickering. I close my eyes like I did before and it just won't come. I can't see it. It doesn't exist. And if it did, whatever it once was … is sitting, wounded inside of a battered green trashcan that smells like rotten banana peels and left over quesadillas gone bad.

The shrill sound of my cell phone erupts from my purse, I give the trashcan one last fleeting look and leave for class.